Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#400194 - 11/11/07 08:45 PM Successful pianists who were late starters
soupinmyhair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 100
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =]

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#400195 - 11/11/07 08:58 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
ctnski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/06
Posts: 272
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig
_________________________
NY Steinway A 2005; Roland FP-7F/ FP-4

Top
#400196 - 11/11/07 09:09 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work.

Top
#400197 - 11/11/07 09:21 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
It doesn't matter if they played better younger. Eventually, if you practice hard, it will even out.

Kissin has an amazing technique and is a great pianist overall, and he was playing professionally at the age of 12 and was a recording artist throughout his teen years.

Stephen Hough wasn't nearly as prodigious but his technique and ability is incredible to convey emotion is incredible.

While Kissin was likely the better pianist at the age of 12, today both are considered 2 of the top in the world. Some believe Kissin is better and some believe Hough is better, but Kissin being a professional recording artist as a young teen has nothing to do with this.
_________________________
The clown is watching you.

Top
#400198 - 11/11/07 11:20 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
soupinmyhair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 100
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work. [/b]
I feel that I have a similar story. I started playing piano when I was 6, but I did not have anyone train me seriously in classical repertoire until the beginning of my senior year of high school. Now I'm an undergraduate piano major working hard to improve.

Do you mind my asking what you are doing with piano today and how you've overcome the age factor?

Top
#400199 - 11/11/07 11:50 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
blackstar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 20
Loc: OH
the great jazz pianist (and superb classical piano aficionado and practitioner) and member of The Bad Plus, ethan iverson, started pretty late by his own admission. he's someone worthy of deepst respect, and i love every chance i get to hear him play.

Top
#400200 - 11/12/07 12:04 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Sviatoslav Richter is usually considered an outstanding late starter. He reportedly gave a recital at 19, but didn't pursue formal studies until several years later.

Also there's the case of Harold Bauer who started as a violinist, but didn't formerly switch to piano until around 20. According to Harold Schonberg, "nobody seems to know" who Bauer ever studied with.

At least we know with Richter.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#400201 - 11/12/07 12:20 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Sviatoslav Richter is usually considered an outstanding late starter. He reportedly gave a recital at 19, but didn't pursue formal studies until several years later.

...

At least we know with Richter. [/b]
But Richter spent his entire teenage years accompanying an opera company. He attributed a lot of his sight-reading ability to that job, which he acquired as an early teen. He played piano as a child, even though he didn't have formal lessons.

And then, of course, what did he play at the recital at age 19? A Chopin Ballade. Some etudes. A real beginner simply doesn't perform those!

He was not a late starter. Those who played when they were younger, but only got serious much later -- they're not late starters. They still started young, seriously or not.

A late starter is, quite logically, someone who started late -- who did not play the piano *at all* as a child.
_________________________
Sam

Top
#400202 - 11/12/07 12:33 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
And then, of course, what did he play at the recital at age 19? A Chopin Ballade. Some etudes. A real beginner simply doesn't perform those!
Yes, Sam, I know that. I thought the title of the thread was "Successful pianists who were late starters"

The planet has never lacked early talents without formal teaching, but Richter was really one in a million, and that was my point.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#400203 - 11/12/07 12:39 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Richter is an odd case. He wasn't a late starter. He started formal lessons late, but had played a great deal before then. His father was a pianist, so the "informal" lessons likely began at a very early age, and music was definitely in the air.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#400204 - 11/12/07 12:47 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Richter is an odd case. He wasn't a late starter. He started formal lessons late, but had played a great deal before then. His father was a pianist, so the "informal" lessons likely began at a very early age, and music was definitely in the air.
The ingredients were certainly there, but that was no guarantee that Richter would become one of the greatest pianists the world has known.

Yes, Richter was an "odd case."
_________________________
Jason

Top
#400205 - 11/12/07 12:50 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
Well I played for one or two years at suzuki lessons when I was 6-8. But I never got beyond a bach minuet, never practiced or anything. couldn't read music. Quite to focus on baseball.

Started two years ago seriously when I was 16 and now I'm at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for piano performance. Sure, I'm not even close to the best here, but I'm far from the worst!

Don't listen to the crap other people tell you. I had numerous people tell me that it simply wasn't possible, that I wasn't cut out for it. For some amusing reading read the lengthy posts in this thread by a certain user: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/10111/2.html

You can imagine how damn good it felt when I not only got in everywhere I auditioned but was offered full tuition at one place.

If everybody believes that only special people can succeed and therefore don't try, how will the world discover those special people?

Edit: If you go for it though be prepared to work twice as hard as everyone else. I just completeded a 10pm to 6am practice session on Monday night. There's no point in doing this and merely wanting to be average, so you better be prepared to pour your entire being into it. If you have the talent, it's simply a matter of deciding to succeed, and then doing everything you can to set yourself up for success. It's a vocation, and it's a hell of a lot of work. But it's so worth it.

Top
#400206 - 11/12/07 12:52 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
The ingredients were certainly there, but that was no guarantee that Richter would become one of the greatest pianists the world has known.
Indeed, and that's true for pianists who played as children and also for pianists who did not play as children. There's never a guarantee.

I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
_________________________
Sam

Top
#400207 - 11/12/07 12:59 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
That is something to ponder as I get ready for work.

It could have gone either way, really. After all, Chopin almost studied with Kalkbrenner...

Oh yikes, let's not go there.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#400208 - 11/12/07 02:16 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2634
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? [/b]
Red Garland, the fleet-fingered pianist behind Miles Davis and John Coltrane, only took up the piano at age 18 when he was in the army.
Red Garland
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

Top
#400209 - 11/12/07 03:08 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I'll regurgitate my Rubinstein quote (I'll keep a copy so I can just paste it next time - it answers the question):

In the 70's I saw Rubinstein and Glenn Gould on, I think, the Dick Cavett Show (did anyone else see it, or am I the remaining depository for this knowledge?). The conversation got round to being in one's 90's and how long it took to become a concert pianist and what talent was involved. Rubinstein said about 10 years would do it and you didn't need a lot of talent. He said he could take ANY 80 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in 10 years. But as I said in previous thread on this topic - the problem is, where are you going to find your Rubinstein?

The bottom line is (and some teachers won't like this) if you want to be a concert pianist and work hard with your teacher for 10 years you can't fail. If you DO fail, you must have drawn the short straw teacher wise (sadly, too often the case).

They then discussed drinking before a performance and agreed even one glass of wine the day before would be detrimental.

I would love to get a transcript of that show - any ideas?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#400210 - 11/12/07 04:24 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work. [/b]
I feel that I have a similar story. I started playing piano when I was 6, but I did not have anyone train me seriously in classical repertoire until the beginning of my senior year of high school. Now I'm an undergraduate piano major working hard to improve.

Do you mind my asking what you are doing with piano today and how you've overcome the age factor? [/b]
Right now I am also an undergrad piano major. And I plan to go as far as I can with it. My big problem is my technique is not as good as it could be. Then again, since I never really worked on anything like that till later.

What I do is I take it all one day at a time. I do not let my age or when I got started bother me. I mean I was accepted to the school so I cannot be to horrible right? Just do not let anything discourage you. Your obviously good enough to get into the school. Which school are you an undergrad at. Concentrate on your own studies. Because there are going to be tons of people who can "play" better in some way shape or form. Just because they have been playing seriously longer. Do not be afraid to take risks. I am constantly working on czerny etudes and other exercises to help me there. Of course scales. And I am always working on extra pieces when possible. It probably is going to be tougher on you then other students, but that is fine. It is still doable. Sometimes I just have to be stubburn and plow my way through. But the point I am really trying to make is I just do not give up and still have high goals.

Top
#400211 - 11/12/07 05:48 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Harold Bauer studied with Paderewski after deciding to become a pianist--or so I've read. I didn't start until I was 13 but caught up quickly in technical sense but couldn't sight-read very well. Had one teacher (Univ. of Miami) tell me that since I had started so late I would never play concerts. He said I should have started by 6 to be a pianist.

Hm . . .and later?

Top
#400212 - 11/12/07 06:32 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Rubinstein said about 10 years would do it and you didn't need a lot of talent. He said he could take ANY 80 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in 10 years. [/b]
Realistic or not, this is one of the most encouraging quotes I've read in these forums!

But, as keyboardklutz said, where do you find your Rubinstein

Top
#400213 - 11/12/07 06:56 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Do you know, originally from Wales, according to Steve Jones your closest relatives are the Basque people, Lap-landers and American Indians! Good innit.

I'm glad to encourage. I'm just waiting for the first poster to say '..Well, I disagree...' It's RUBINSTEIN TALKING, FOR CHRIST SAKE!. Just thought I'd get in first. I believe the Americans call it a 'pre-emptive strike'.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#400214 - 11/12/07 08:19 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
That is something to ponder as I get ready for work.

[/b]
True

As someone with informal training (very informal \:D ) .. I would assume that these years certainly affected his performance style and interpretations.

In informal training, the pianist is less bound to teachers and the standard approaches and "rules". Maybe this is why we have Richter's unique interpretations today.

Top
#400215 - 11/12/07 09:10 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by ctnski:
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig [/b]
Paderewski did not start late. He studied privately as a child until he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12.

Top
#400216 - 11/12/07 09:59 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
stavroski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Liverpool, UK
Well, I have just started back at piano lessons...... I'm 29, have been playing since I was 8 but never learned to read music properly until recently. So in that case, I will definitely be touring Europe and beyond when I'm 40........

I agree that you should take each day at a time, I used to get discouraged when I coudn't play really difficult pieces that kids half my age would be able to breeze through. Regardless of where you are at you should make little 'milestones' to measure yourself by, to keep your interest and to ensure you don't get discouraged.
_________________________
--------------------
Hohner HP-128 Upright
Kurzweil PC1X
Yamaha EX5
Roland XV3080
Muse Receptor Rev.C
East West Bosendorfer 290 amongst others....

Top
#400217 - 11/12/07 10:04 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
 Quote:
Originally posted by ctnski:
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig [/b]
Paderewski did not start late. He studied privately as a child until he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12. [/b]
The confusion is because he started with Liechetizky in his 20's. Liechetizky said he was too old and would never make the grade. He was already a well known composer.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#400218 - 11/12/07 10:24 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Varcon:
Harold Bauer studied with Paderewski after deciding to become a pianist--or so I've read.
Bauer played for Paderewski, but I don't think he formally studied with him.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#400219 - 11/12/07 10:26 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I think your right there. Bauer was, no doubt, a superb violinist. He would have had a virtuoso's ear.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#400220 - 11/12/07 01:04 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
schmickus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Bonn, Germany
Volodos started playing the pianos at age 15. His parents being professional singers poor Arcadij was expected to become a baritone or a conductor. He recieved formal vocal lessons but finally dropped singing to take up the piano.
_________________________
physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)

Top
#400221 - 11/12/07 01:42 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Volodos seems to have started the piano at 8, even though not "seriously":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcadi_Volodos

Still, a bit different than starting at 15.

Top
#400222 - 11/12/07 01:53 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
Being a successful performer requires great genius and great luck.

If you are not a lucky genius, there simply is not room for you as a successful performer. As much as I hate saying that, I fear it is the truth. There simply isn't a big enough audience.

However, that does not mean you should stop practicing. You have an opportunity to make something beautiful. Everyone who doesn't care is just too ignorant and short-sighted to garner the benefits of listening to great music produced by a truly passionate individual.

-Colin

Top
#400223 - 11/12/07 01:53 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
So what are we considering studying seriously?

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Piano Rankings
by phantomFive
Today at 07:59 PM
What Piece Is This?
by Works1
Today at 03:43 PM
Suites Georg Böhm
by Johan B
Today at 03:40 PM
Your Favorite key action under 1,000 USD?
by login
Today at 03:18 PM
Recording the results of Pianoteq
by Roger Ransom
Today at 01:35 PM
Who's Online
119 registered (anotherscott, BB Player, Barry1963, A Guy, 42 invisible), 1164 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76643 Members
42 Forums
158480 Topics
2327376 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission